Why Sex Talk On a First Date Is a Bad Idea



Name: Annie
Question: Dear Moxie,
I recently became interested in low key BDSM. I stopped by the sex toy store down the street for me and purchased spreader bars, Ben wa balls, a bed restraint, and a flogger. In the past I’ve been 100% vanilla about sex, but I started to feel bored with it. Over the past few weeks I’ve gone out on dates with multiple men. We got on the topic of sex, and I told them about my new hobby. They did not have much to say about that, and they later ended up ghosting. There is also this other guy who I’ve been having casual sex with on and off for years, and I told him about it. He ended up cancelling our night we had planned and I haven’t heard back from him. I am wondering if maybe I should date someone for a while before letting them know about this?
Age: 27


I’ll start off by saying this letter feels…off to me. But since it raises an interesting discussion point, I’ll ignore my instincts.

I stopped by the sex toy store down the street for me and purchased spreader bars, Ben wa balls, a bed restraint, and a flogger.

Why are you telling me this? Like, how is it relevant to the discussion? If I’m wondering that, it’s safe to assume your dates are having similar thoughts.  This information feels out of place, like you’re shoehorning it into the conversation because you think it sounds cool or sexy.

It doesn’t. It makes you sound like you’re trying too hard to impress people with your “low key BDSM” interests. It’s not the interest in kink itself that is problematic. It’s the way you introduce it into conversation that is working against you. Here’s the thing, and I am speaking from experience here:  men and women who talk in such detail about sex with strangers are doing so for one of two reasons: they’re either desperate or using sex to get attention because they have to. I loooved telling guys I used to teach blow-job classes. Know why? Because I thought it made me sound sexy. In actuality, my approach reeked of desperation and I ended up making myself vulnerable to men that I should have been avoiding.

The main reason I get so turned off by men who make sexual references in initial email exchanges is because it makes me think they’re desperate to get laid. I don’t want  a guy who is desperate to get laid. I want a guy who knows he can get laid whenever he likes and is choosing to get laid by me. Play the game, dude.   It’s not a coincidence that male and female writers who pen self-indulgent essays about how kinky and DTF they are or about how they got laid the night before fall into one of two categories:  intensely average looking or hot but a bottomless pit of need. Confident and secure people don’t have to put that stuff on blast. It’s why most dating bloggers of the personal essay variety are or were perpetually single.

Like the woman from last week’s letter, it’s possible you’re connecting dots that aren’t there. Ghosting and not getting a second date is de rigueur now. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re turning these guys off, though talk of ben wa balls on a first date doesn’t help. As loathe as I am to admit it, you can’t bust out the really kinky shit until you know someone, unless you’re just looking for sex.  In a casual situation, who cares what they think? But when it comes to dating, you need to feel someone out first and find out just how open-minded they are. Sadly, there are still a lot of men who will sleep with a woman who enjoys a good facial but would never date her. Because, like, she takes a load to the face so that means she’s slutty. Of course, they’re usually the same men who turn around and whine that their wives are too uptight in bed and that’s why they cheated, but I digress.

If men are running for the hills when you break out your flogger talk, it’s very possible they fear you’re more experienced than they are and they won’t measure up.  I would refrain from going into detail about your sexual proclivities until you have a better idea of  their views and attitudes towards women and sex.  Even the most feminist of men might be turned off by a woman who lists all the kinky shit she does in bed on a first date.  Plenty of men will pretend to find your liberal sexuality attractive, bed you, then toss you aside for your liberal sexuality. Not to mention, talk of sex so early in the game gives the impression you’re just looking for sex and nothing more. I guarantee you that’s how you’re being perceived by many if not most of the men with whom you engage in all this naughty banter.

If you feel you have to use your sexuality to keep a guy interested, that means he wasn’t interested in the first place.





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7 Responses to “Why Sex Talk On a First Date Is a Bad Idea”

  1. fuzzilla Says:

    Yeah, too much sex talk early on is sort of like a salesperson asking for your credit card number when you haven’t expressed any interest in the product and he/she hasn’t bothered selling it/making a case for it. Instant turnoff.

    Sure, I suppose you want to be a little flirty or whatever on a date but do not escalate without clear buy-in from the other person. I mean, *maybe* say something like, “I’d consider myself a bit adventurous…” If they ask for more, then share a *little* more, and so on and so forth. Do not, say, rattle off your shopping list from Sexorz ‘R Us as that’s a bit off putting and aggressive (and I think that’s just a people thing, not a “women shouldn’t do that/men don’t like that” thing). You wanna drop hints and wait for the other person to pick up on them, and gracefully move on if they don’t.

  2. Parenting Says:

    The smell of desparation is unnerving. What woman hasnt run away screaming from the guy who wanted to talk about being ready to settle down and get married on a first date?

    I agree that something sounds off about this letter. Gee my long time fwb disappeared after I mentioned wanting to try some light kink? Unless she asked him to bite off her big toe, it doesnt sound realistic.

  3. Nia Says:

    My take on this is that most people (perhaps rightly so) interpret kinky-ness similarly to adventures with the same gender. Once is an experiment. More than once may be a phase. But investments of time and ahem, items, is a proclivity.

    There are no part-time bisexuals and there’s kind of not really “low key” BDSM.

    That world, of BDSM is, for many people, very unappealing. For some people, it represents exhilarating freedom and excitement, acceptance and community.
    But for many, it can seem as if:
    Once you’re in, you’re not coming back to vanilla-land, and, much like a guy who is “orally bi”, most people will feel you can’t be “low key” kinky.

    Once you experience the thrill/rush/excitement from this low level fun, you’ll get sated (much the same as you did from vanilla sex) and need to level up…over and over. Pretty soon you’re in a dungeon doing unspeakable things to your “pet”. Not a lifestyle most are willing to sign on for.

    Kinkiness is often more than just sex, it’s a community. And for whatever reason, people in this community seem to really define themselves by this community (see advice column Ask A Manager, about the woman who is in a 24/7 D/s relationship who wants to wear a collar at work. Leaving aside that the very existence of a “male D/ female s” relationship makes my skin crawl and me see red, dude, EWWWWWW. Leave your sex stuff AT HOME.)

    For people who feel that they’re already left out or outcasts, it’s very unappealing to have another aspect of their life be “odd”. (That’s a major reason I unilaterally said no to any level of kink in a profile when online dating. The other reason is that men almost *always* understated or fudged their actual kink level. A man who “occasionally” likes to experience being submissive is then texting me asking if he can “serve” me and my girlfriends at a ladies’ night party I mentioned. Yeah, no.)

    It’s the same reason I’m not vegan, I’m not GF, and I don’t participate in a lot of activism: extremism is super-unappealing to me. And it is to many people as well.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **A man who “occasionally” likes to experience being submissive is then texting me asking if he can “serve” me and my girlfriends at a ladies’ night party I mentioned. Yeah, no.)**

      In my experience, if a guy from online dating mentioned being submissive and I didn’t return the kink interest but was still polite and didn’t run away screaming, he’d take that as a green light that I was all in and was super pushy about it (sending “naughty” pictures and going on and on about his fantasies, etc. I think this is when I learned to be careful about sharing my phone number too quick, heh).

      • Nia Says:

        Dude what IS it with these fetlife guys? Same thing on my end. An openness and a “sure, I’d be up for X in theory, it’s not a deal breaker” would immediately turn into a non-consensual fantasy discussion. Honestly, the kink community is being represented by some pretty bad apples out there.
        I recall there was a super cute guy on OKC a couple years ago and he had a user name that could be kinky or not. I asked him and yep, sure enough, kinky. I was a little frosty as I asked him if he had considered pursuing his desires on a specialty site and he was like “they’re all faaaaaatttt on fetlifeeeeee.” Boy, bye.

      • EANx Says:

        It’s not just the guys. I dated a woman that once she decided to share her preferences, she was rather insistent on being submissive. She didn’t see the irony.

  4. AC Says:

    “It’s not the interest in kink itself that is problematic. It’s the way you introduce it into conversation that is working against you.”


    Being interested in kinky sex in not uncommon. At the same time, there is a huge difference between being into kinky sex and wanting a BDSM relationship or being involved in that “lifestyle.” It is easy for the average person to confuse the two.

    Like everyone else responding, I have no idea what the flow of the conversations on your dates has been like. At the same time, it looks like these guys are getting the wrong idea and running in the other direction as a result.

    There is nothing wrong with flirty banter on a first or second date. In fact, most guys see it as a refreshing break from the usual, often boring getting to know you chit chat. Like any other topic, if the conversation becomes too intense, it can ruin the mood.

    The best advice is too tone it down a bit and keep the conversation a little lighter.

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